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Bearcats @ Houston; Down The Drive Staff Picks

Confidence is returning. Sort of.

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Gentil: I threw out my first prediction. I didn't think UC would be able to win at Houston, but I like the way this team has played lately (especially at Rutgers) so I say the offense continues to hum right along. Bearcats win a close one 38-35 to set up the Louisville showdown.

Matt DuMont: I'm just going to keep taking the Bearcats because it's been working recently. 5 wins in a row and a beatdown of Rutgers on the road last week have me feeling confident. As good as John O'Korn has been, he's still a freshman and can be forced into mistakes. UC has to capitalize off any turnover they force. It would be a moot point if the Bearcats don't considering Houston, who are the kings of forcing turnovers, will. The news that Deontay Greenberry might miss the game, or even if he plays, might not be 100% could also be a huge factor. He's an enormous part of the Cougar offense. We'll just have to wait and see on that one. Cats win 45-37 in a shootout.

bearcatlair: UC 31-24

Justin Post: Let's see - since I've joined the staff I've submitted two predictions, and, coincidentally enough, the Bearcats won both of those games. Never mind the fact that I picked them to lose in both contests. So now that I'm rolling, there's no stopping my prediction mojo. 'Cats come out flat on the road, make a late rally, but just can't overcome the hole they started in: 31-27 Houston

republicofcincinnati: Our offense continues to roll and the defense will make O'Korn look like a freshman. If there were any doubts earlier in the season, I think that the team has 100% bought into the coaching staff and with two games left, know exactly what they have to do to have any say in where to play in late December (or January...fingers crossed).


Bearcats will roll, setting up the match-up that we've been waiting for all season.

Bearcats (Republic of Cincinnati) - 27
Cougars (Republic of Texas) - 13

Matt Opper: As an optimist, if not an eternal optimist, I would like to think that the Bearcats have turned the corner this year. But that sinking suspicion that the Bearcats 8-2 has more to do with the schedule than the merits of this team. There is no denying that the Bearcats have often looked great in running off their 6th 5+ game winning streak since 2005, but there have been issues in the Temple, Memphis and SMU games. Against Rutgers UC turned in its most complete performance since the Brian Kelly era. But can they replicate that against Houston, because they will need to. I have my doubts. An avalanche of Bearcat turnovers is too much to overcome and Houston wins a shootout 38-31.

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